The nation celebrated the 47th Victory Day paying deep homage to the Liberation War martyrs today (Saturday).
On this day in 1971, Pakistani occupation forces surrendered after a nine-month war resulting in free, independent and sovereign Bangladesh.
This year, the Victory Day celebrations reached a new height as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) on October 30 last recognised Bangabandhu’s historic 7th March Speech as a world documentary heritage.
On March 7 in 1971, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in his fiery speech called on the freedom-loving Bangalis to wage a decisive struggle against the Pakistani rulers.
“Ebarer sangram amader muktir sangram, ebarer sangram swadhinatar sangram [The struggle this time is a struggle for emancipation, the struggle this time is a struggle for independence],” Bangabandhu declared in a thunderous voice at a mammoth rally at the Racecourse Maidan (now Suhrawardy Udyan) that day.
Different political parties, socio-cultural organisations and educational institutions celebrated the day with various programmes.
As part of the programmes, a spectacular parade was held at the National Parade Square at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the morning.
Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Bangladesh Police, Coast Guard, Ansar, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Bangladesh National Cadet Corps participated in the parade.
President Abdul Hamid took salute and inspected the parade as the chief guest. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was also present at the parade.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid rich tributes to the martyrs of the Liberation War by placing wreaths at the National Mausoleum at Savar with the rise of the sun.
The President and the Prime Minister laid wreaths at the monument at 6:34am and stood there in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the martyrs of the 1971 Liberation War.
Later, flanked by senior party leaders, Sheikh Hasina, also Awami League President, laid another wreath at the National Mausoleum as the party chief.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia paid homage to the martyred freedom fighters, who made the supreme sacrifice for the country during the Liberation War in 1971 by placing wreaths at the National Mausoleum in the morning.
Khaleda, flanked by her party senior leaders, placed wreaths at the memorial around 11am.
Meanwhile, President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia issued separate messages on the occasion.
The national flag was hoisted atop all government and private buildings while the government and semi-government buildings and other public places were illuminated and roads and islands decorated with flags and festoons in all cities of the country on the occasion.
National dailies brought out supplements while state-owned and private televisions and radios are airing special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.
Special prayers were offered in mosques, temples, churches, pagodas and other places of worship seeking divine blessings for the peace and progress of the country.
President Md Abdul Hamid and his wife Rashida Khanom hosted a reception at Bangabhaban on the occasion in the afternoon.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina joined the reception on the lush green lawn of the presidential house.
Destitute children were allowed to visit the children park in the capital on the day free of cost. Improved diets were served in jails, hospitals, orphanages and vagrant homes across the country.
National dailies brought out special supplements while electronic media aired programmes highlighting the day’s significance in the national life.